This story started in the Times yesterday and was repeated here in the Telegraph, which throws Grimsby into the mix.
So you can take your pick from any of a number of places!
The choice is yours!
I knew little of the history of Gibraltar in the Sec0nd World War, although I did know little bits about its role in naval activities and as a place, where evading servicemen aimed for, to get back home.
But I knew nothing about, what happened to the people of the colony during the war.
As I walked towards the centre of town after landing, I noticed this statue on a roundabout.
It is called the Evacuation Of The Gibraltarians and there is more about the true story here in Wikipedia.
I feel, the story goes a long way to explain, why Gibraltarians want to determine their own future.
We were continually passing the locations of famous naval battles. Mostly, where the British gave the French or in later times, the Germans a good kicking.
And then after Corunna, we passed Cape Finisterre, where two battles were fought in 1747 and one in 1805.
General Sikorski was a wartime Polish leader.
The pictures show his statue in Portland Place.
I can remember, when it started and watched the first program. Probably in my attic at The house in Debach, where I was writing Artemis.
I can also remember ;listening to the opening of LBC, the London news station in the flat in the Barbican.
But some things never change. They showed what was about in 1983 and one was the InterCity 225‘s running out of Kings Cross. Although, they didn’t start running until 1988. So either I got the identification wrong or the BBC used a wrong clip.
Edward Hawke was an admiral in the Royal Navy and is best known for his defeating of the French at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, which probably ended any chance of a French invasion of Great Britain. Quiberon Bay was one of those naval battles like the defeat of the Spanish Armada, Trafalgar and Taranto, that have defined our history.
I had lunch with a friend yesterday and the subject of a artist called Edward Hawke Locker came up. He was called Edward Hawke, as his father, William Locker, was a protege of Admiral Hawke, who served with him in the Seven Years War. The Wikipedia entry for William says this.
Locker then moved to command the frigate HMS Thames, on the home station. He was her captain from 1770 until 1773. In 1777 he took command of HMS Lowestoffe, sailing her to the West Indies. During this period, one of his lieutenants was the newly promoted Horatio Nelson. Nelson, then barely nineteen, served with Locker for fifteen months. His experiences with Locker, and Locker’s teachings had a lasting effect on Nelson.
Twenty years later, on 9 February 1799, Nelson wrote to his old captain: ”I have been your scholar; it is you who taught me to board a Frenchman by your conduct when in the Experiment; it is you who always told me ‘Lay a Frenchman close and you will beat him;’ and my only merit in my profession is being a good scholar. Our friendship will never end but with my life, but you have always been too partial to me.”
Note that Lowestoft is spelt how the locals tend to pronounce it. The article also goes on to elaborate on the connection between Locker and Nelson.
If there is a moral in this, it is that you should make sure you learn the lessons of history.
I know I missed the torch at the end of my road, but that was mainly because I took too long for a pit stop, but I did know where it was going to go, as the maps were good. But that is not what can be said for Wandsworth yesterday, where I tried to see the torch about 17:00. When I asked around, people seemed to be very anti-Olympics and it seemed mainly because of the Olympic Route Network, that made driving difficult. But then I always remember that driving is difficult south of the river.
Wandsworth or at least the centre is perhaps best summed up by the old Ram Brewery site. There’s even an old steam engine in there somewhere, that worked until the 1980s.
It used to produce one of the best real ales, but look at it now.
Chemical lager manufacturers have a lot to answer for. ADanish friend of mine once said that in Denmark, Carlsberg bought up every brewer and meant the only beer you could get is their product. He advised all in the UK, to not let it happen here.
It doesn’t matter to me now, as I can’t drink beer, but I know many feel that the destruction of the traditional British drinking culture has been one of the disasters of the last few decades. As a policeman once told me in all seriousness, you never get trouble in a real ale pub.
As you can imagine if you dig a hole as large as CrossRail through London, you’ll find things, that history will value.
There’s an exhibition for one day only today. I shall try and go!
Apparently, all of the passengers had jumped into the branch to get their money out. The cashiers decided to pay everybody out in 5p. pieces and the result was the extra weight caused the bus to stall and break down.
Apparently this ruse was tried in 1745 to stop a run on the Bank of England, when Bonnie Prince Charlie was marching on London. In those days though they used sixpences.
I actually think, that a shot of Marylebone from the same place would look very much the same today, except for diesel instead of steam trains.
Someone will write the article.
On a more serious note, railway and other historians will use the database of pictures to sort out, what was there in the 1920s and 30s and how something should be restored. And also to enliven dull articles.